Governance Health Check
- Principle 1
- Ensuring organisational purposes and rules set out in the governing document remain relevant and valid
- Setting up and upholding the vision, values and reputation of the organisation
- Understanding and fulfilling its legal duties
- Ensuring the stewardship of assets
- Ensuring appropriate organisational structures are in place
- Understanding the organisation’s operating environment
- Developing and agreeing a long-term strategy
- Reviewing and overseeing the work of the organisation in the interests of its beneficiaries and/or members
- Principle 2
- Structuring meetings effectively including preparation, frequency, recording and communication
- Ensuring that all board members, including office bearers, understand and fulfill their respective roles
- Providing all board members with opportunities for training and development according to their needs
- Periodically reviewing their individual contribution and performance as a team
- Finding, recruiting and retiring board members to meet the organisation’s changing needs in line with the governing document, taking into account skills, experience and diversity
- Providing suitable induction for new board members
- Accessing external advice when necessary
- Developing and maintaining a positive working relationship within the board and with volunteers and staff
- Ensuring that all members are able to participate fully at meetings and carry out their challenge function in an open and constructive way
- Principle 3
- Developing and monitoring organisational plans and budgets
- Evaluating results and assessing impact
- Ensuring proper arrangements/agreements are in place for partnership working and service delivery
- Understanding and complying with all legal, contractual and regulatory requirements that apply to it
- Implementing appropriate up to date internal financial and management controls
- Regularly identifying and reviewing the major risks to which the organisation is exposed including systems to manage those risks
- Ensuring that delegation to committees, staff and volunteers (as applicable) works effectively and the use of delegated authority is properly documented and supervised
- Ensuring proper arrangements for the recruitment, remuneration, supervision, support and appraisal of all staff including the most senior member of staff
- Making proper arrangements for managing and supporting volunteers
- Principle 4
- Act according to high ethical standards
- Identify, understand and manage conflicts of interest and loyalty both within the board and across the organisation
- Maintain independence of decision making
- Adopt a suitable code of conduct
- Have a clear and effective approach to promoting equality, diversity, inclusion and good relations within the board and throughout the organisation
- Encourage inclusive and accessible participation of beneficiaries and members
- Understand and comply with its safeguarding responsibilities
- Develop and provide a safe and respectful culture for all
- Principle 5
- Ensure open and effective communication and engagement with beneficiaries, members and stakeholders about the organisation and its work
- Consider organisational responsibilities to the wider community, society and the environment
- Put in place arrangements to deal with complaints constructively, impartially and efficiently
- Ensure proper arrangements for the management of membership as set out in the governing document
- Demonstrate public benefit/impact in line with its organisational purposes
This governance health check is a self assessment tool which has been devised by the Developing Governance Group as a practical resource to assist committees/boards to work towards adhering to the principles of the Code of Good Governance.
The Code of Good Governance sets out five principles and practices of good governance for voluntary and community organisations. Launched in 2008 by the Developing Governance Group, it has been widely accepted as the Governance Code for all voluntary and community organisations.
The aim of this health check questionnaire is to help committees/boards to review their governance arrangements, check that they have appropriate systems in place and identify areas where they could improve. It is a best practice tool – it is not mandatory. However, this resource can also help committees/boards of any size to demonstrate their good governance practices to their stakeholders, beneficiaries and funders alike.
Please see the video below for more information on how to use the health check.
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